The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued new regulations this year that dictate what laboratories can and cannot do with proficiency testing samples—and there is a three-tiered system of penalties for those who do not follow the rules. Labs that break the regulations can face fines, mandated education, or even closure. An hour-long AACC webinar on December 3 at 3 p.m. Eastern time will explain the new rules and penalties. Participants will hear directly from CMS, as Melissa Singer, MT (ASCP), of CMS’ Center for Clinical Standards & Quality, Survey and Certification Group, in the Division of Laboratory Services will be one of the speakers. Singer says she will provide a general overview of the new CMS regulation and how it will be enforced.

Joining Singer will be Gary Horowitz, MD, medical director of clinical chemistry at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and chair of the College of American Pathologists’ (CAP) Chemistry Resource Committee.

“The main issue I plan to cover relates to why CAP decided it had no choice but to eliminate the ‘free’ second instrument feature on some of its proficiency surveys,” Horowitz says. “This feature had made it possible for laboratories enrolled in such surveys to run the samples on a second instrument, and be graded on them, at no additional charge.”

Horowitz’s part of the webinar will also cover how laboratories can generate the same—if not better—information as they did before without enrolling in additional surveys, he says. “As a result, I hope they will see that, as nice as that feature may have been, there are better ways to generate the same information,” Horowitz says. “Time permitting, I may cover additional proficiency testing issues that arise in relation to second instruments.”

This webinar is worth 1.0 ACCENT continuing education creditRegister online.